A Quest: The 70’s: Surviving (Part 1)

Tags

, , , ,

San Diego was first inhabited by descendants of Asians who had crossed the Bering Strait Land Bridge.   The San Dieguito settled in the beautiful place we know as San Diego around 9000 BC. The area was later ‘discovered’ a couple of times and saw a few name changes until 1867 when real estate speculator Alonzo Horton   stepped ashore, heard a Who, and built a town. A couple of world wars saw San Diego grow a huge naval presence. The founding of Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla in 1903                    

and the creation of Balboa Park 1903-1915    helped establish San Diego as a happening community. Tourism became a huge part of the San Diego economy and the proximity of Tijuana with its legal gambling houses added a spark to San Diego’s growth.

 The decade of the 60’s was hard on the economy of San Diego, but the municipality survived and was coming back in the 70’s.

 In 1970 I survived BEEP school graduating near or at the bottom of the class and was assigned to Anti-Submarine Warfare School (ASW) located next door to NTC.  (Barracks 58 at ASW School) This was a longer school (maybe 6 months) and attempted to teach us more theory and practical information about sonar equipment. Every member of the class was promoted to Sonar Technician 3rd Class.   So, now I was a Petty Officer in the United States Navy. This was cool because I could go to the Petty Officer’s Club which was a little classier than the Enlisted Club. At ASW, however, we only had one bar, The Bent Snorkel. Being serious students, we sometimes continued our studies after class at The Bent Snorkel. I remember one night we were drinking Hamms beer (90 cents for a six-pack)   when someone wondered out loud if the cardboard coasters might taste better than the beer. Naturally, we began an experiment that went like this; take a sip of beer, swallow, bite the coaster, chew, compare, repeat. I do not remember how long this brilliant exercise continued.

 We were in softball season and our class of twenty students was extremely athletic drubbing every other class we faced. Two of us played on the TraPac (Training Pacific) team   which competed in the 11th Naval District fast pitch league. We won the championship with me leading off and playing left field. I wasn’t a great hitter, but I had speed and could bunt. The strategy for victory was for me to get on and be advanced by ‘Buck’ the number two hitter and scratch out a run with some other hitting and stolen bases. We won because our pitcher, Rick Decker, could throw the ball as hard as anyone I ever faced. He didn’t allow many hits, so we won all our games against Navy opposition. One team we couldn’t beat was an Air Force team from Mount Laguna Air Force Station.   This team had a shortstop whose teammates called “Fish”. His name was probably Fisher. Honestly, I think the team could have played without a third baseman and a second baseman. “Fish” had amazing range and a cannon for an arm. We played those guys twice and he threw me out on sure hits at least once each game.

On another day I was rounding third toward home on someone’s hit to right center field. Somehow, I tripped halfway home and went head first into the base path. I managed to get back on my feet and score, but I was now legend. At least I was a legend for our two fans. Two Hawaiian 1st Class Petty Officers were our groupies, never missing a game. From that day to the end of the season the two found a reason at each game to yell “Slide Heckman slide.”

Meanwhile, back at school, the other classes were getting tired of being demolished by our class in softball. One of the classes challenged us to a touch football game to which we, of course, accepted. The day before the appointed game it dawned on us that we should have some idea what we were doing so we had a practice to decide who would play where. We felt sufficiently ready for the challenge.

 We received the first kick-off and ran it back for a touchdown. We continued to score against the opposition and to stop them from scoring for a lopsided victory. Our class was extremely athletic. We even tested our skills several times sailing around San Diego Bay in twelve foot sailboats. 

We were expanding our search for activities around San Diego as well. The focus of our attention had moved from downtown to the area around the sports arena. The arena provided much entertainment from concerts to basketball games with the NBA Rockets (Today the Houston Rockets)  and Roller Derby.  (Never actually saw Raquel at Roller Derby.) We were not serious fans of Roller Derby. We called it ‘Rolly Derber’ and always cheered for the Detroit Devils who always lost to the LA Thunderbirds.  One night I took my cassette player and posing as a radio announcer interviewed folks for the radio station. I even scored an interview with ‘Big John’ from the Thunderbirds.

After most events at the arena we stopped at “That Place Across From the Sports Arena” for beer and peanuts. A fake elephant head was attached to the wall and when you lifted the trunk a basket full of peanuts would fall out. The floor was covered with peanut shells.

 Along the way we discovered Balboa Park and the San Diego Zoo.    One Saturday afternoon at Balboa Park, we decided to play tackle football. Yes, alcohol was involved. On the first play of the game I was about to arm tackle my best friend when he lowered his head and hit me square in the chest. Well, it was clear that this was not going to be an afternoon for squeamish people.   (The game only felt like this picture.) I couldn’t get out of bed the next morning. Every muscle screamed with pain as I tried to sit up. That was a very long day. On the following Monday we all shuffled painfully into class. One guy even had a cast on a broken arm. And the Navy thought we were smart enough to be in the electronics field.

We kept surviving. 

See you next time.

 

Advertisements

A Quest: The 70’s Journey: We Were A Mess

Tags

, , , , , ,

After reading the last blog My Jane   complained to me that I hadn’t mentioned getting married in my list of hyper activity. The explanation that my attempt was to show a moment in time when I was doing all things mentioned simultaneously didn’t seem sufficient.

Pondering the dilemma before me the decision to cover the decade of the 70’s evolved as the answer. Today begins a journey to the best of my  memories through the 70’s.

In 1970 President Nixon (the most dishonest and mean spirited president in my lifetime, until now.) expanded the Vietnam War by invading Cambodia.   In the same year the Senate repealed the Gulf of Tonkin resolution reducing the President’s wartime power.

On May 4 at Kent State University four students were killed by National Guardsman.   Allison Krause and Jeffrey Miller, were participating in the protest. The other two, Sandra Scheuer and William Knox Schroeder were walking to their classes. Nine other students were wounded in the shooting.  As a country we were a mess.

The Beatles   officially ended their musical journey together on January 3, 1970 when Paul, George and Ringo got together for one last recording session at the Abbey Road Studio Two. They were working on George’s song “I Me Mine.” John was in Denmark with Yoko at the time.

January 1970 found me in San Diego, California graduating from Navy Boot camp   with Company 683. As the recruit company yeoman, I was one of the four members of the company leadership team. Two photos are included to show you that we were studious, focused and dedicated leaders of our company.   Our boot camp commander was BU1 (Builder First Class) Rutlege who was always appreciative of my work, as you can see from this photo. 

Upon graduation from boot camp I was assigned to the other side of Naval Training Center (NTC)   to attend six weeks of Basic Electricity and Electronic (BEEP) School. In its infinite wisdom the Navy had decided I scored high enough on the battery of aptitude tests in boot camp to be placed in the electronics field and made a Sonar Technician. In actuality, one day I couldn’t spell it and the next day I was one. It occurred to me early on that I was not cut out for the electronics field. That ‘thing’ about alternating current just would not congeal in my brain. How could those little electrical charges keep moving back and forth and still move through the wires? My dullness toward electricity wasn’t helped by our BEEP school instructor’s Filipino accent. It was seven days into the course before I knew what a ‘prootin’ and ‘newton’ were! Then of course there were resistors, capacitors and diodes to figure out. Really?

Fortunately, there were other endeavors to excel in outside of the classes. BEEP school had a cleverly designed basketball league. The newest class played the class in its last week then progressed through the classes until the newest class was on its last week. We put a decent team on the floor and won as many games as we lost.

We had other diversions as well. Happy Hour at the enlisted club came with fifty cent drinks. The price is not a miss print. Rum and Coke and 7&7 were the drinks of choice and I remember our little round table being full of drinks to be consumed as happy hour ended. At other times we splurged on Long Island Iced Tea and Harvey Wallbangers. We were a mess. Just one story illustrates how messed up we were. One night our table was escorting one of the less functioning members of our group to his barracks. We found the correct barracks and located his top bunk. Being unable to lift himself up and onto the bunk the rest of us slogged into action. The three of us lifted him up and over his bunk onto the floor on the other side of the bunk. After some confusion we found our way to the other side of the bunk where our buddy was sleeping peaceably as he lay. We left him where he was, no worse for the experience. Another night after happy hour several of us went downtown and got tattoos. Mine is “Hot Stuff” the devil   who is attached to my upper right arm. (During seminary six years later I had half of the tattoo removed.)

San Diego was a sailor town so there were any number of ‘hang outs’ filled with sailors. My friends and I began exploring the myriad of offerings with relish. My favorite ‘hangout’ was the The Barbary Coast on Pacific Highway. The headline dancer was billed as ‘Misty Redhot’ because she was a real redhead and… well, you can guess the rest. I spent many evenings enjoying her dancing talent. Life was simple those six weeks, go to class, hit the club, repeat. On weekends we went to one of the many beaches in San Diego or traveled to Tijuana.  It was very easy to cross into Mexico and back into the USA in those days. Sixteen or seventeen years later My Jane and I took my Mother to Tijuana for a brief taste of Mexico.  (The sign beside my Mother, Sarah and Me reads “Mexico”.) That was the first time I saw Tijuana in the light of day.

My first 70’s adventure was messed up like the country trying to “rock and roll all night and party every day”. The action did not lessen as I moved from BEEP School to Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) School adjacent to NTC.

See you next time

A Quest: A Second Chance to Navigate the 70’s

The first time I traveled through the 70’s is a psychedelic kaleidoscope of memories often disconnected from each other today.  What was that decade all about? I sure do not have any answers for that trip through the 70’s.Today, I stand at the start line for a second journey through the 70’s. As I peer into the unknown future it occurs to me that I want to do a few things differently in the decade ahead of me than I did in the last 70’s decade.

Here is my list of hopes for life along the road the next ten years.

First I want to remember leaving the concerts and/or shows I attend. The first time around I remember going to many concerts without any recollection of leaving the event. Now, this wasn’t all my own fault. In those days smoking was permitted at concerts and there were plenty of folks smoking those funny looking cigarettes called joints.   I remember being in the eighth row of a Jimi Hendricks concert, right in front of Jimi and noticing the ‘purple haze’, between the band and me. I also remember hands full of ‘pills’ being passed liberally down the row of concert goers. But I don’t remember leaving the concert.

My memory of a  Sly and the Family Stone Concert consists mostly of what happened after intermission. Sly, wearing a pair of fur covered knee-high boots, sat center stage behind his organ as the band played “Take Me Higher” for about forty-five minutes. Between the stage and the first row of chairs was a mass of humanity throbbing to the music. Occasionally, one of the girls in that crowd would climb onto the stage and try to touch Sly’s boots. My memory is fuzzy but they might have touched a boot before the smiling bouncers tossed the girls back into the crush of people. But I don’t remember leaving the concert.

I remember Three Dog Night singing “One”. Junior Walker and The All Stars did “Shotgun” at least three times. The Association had two drummers playing simultaneously. Bo Diddly thanked us and our parents for his career. But I don’t remember leaving any of those concerts.

This time through the 70’s I want to remember leaving the event.

Second I want to observe more and strive less. The first 70’s was all about action and getting to something out ahead. That decade is best described by the Kiss anthem “Rock-n-roll All Nite” with the words, “I wanna rock and roll all night and party every day”. As the 70’s began that was exactly what I was doing. Progressing through the decade the activities evolved but the idea was the same. I was going at an out of control pace on my way to somewhere.

There was a period of time when I was a church pastor,  chaplain of the fire company plus being a fire fighter and ambulance attendant,  District 21 Chaplain and Chaplain of the Pennsylvania Department of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.  I was chair of the Gettysburg Association United Church of Christ Church and Ministry committee. I was player coach for the church men’s softball team and coach of the women’s team. In the winter I was the High School Girls Junior Varsity coach  and played on the Jaycees basketball team. On Colonial Day when 30,000 people packed the main street of our little town, I was the Town Cryer.   I was in a hurry to get somewhere.

This time through the seventies I hope to observe the life that vibrates all around me. Life is here and now not somewhere. My Jane deserves a spouse who is present in her life.     I don’t think she had that so much during the first 70’s.

The precious moments with our daughter and son-in-law need to be cherished during this next decade of the 70’s, not rushed past. 

I want to enjoy the magic of the eight-year-old grandson expounding on life in second grade.   When the three-year-old grandson wants to go for a walk and read license plates I want to slow the time down and soak in the moment.   When the two-year-old granddaughter asks if we can have a tea party, I want to watch the sparkle in her eyes as she pours imaginary tea and hands me a cup and saucer. 

Finally, I hope I can win the battle against the dark side. 

I survived the 60’s twice

so experiencing the 70’s again should be simple… right?

See you next time.

A Quest: At Seventy Years Old

 Unpacking the groceries, the last week of 2018 I came across a ‘7’ and a ‘0’ candle. Holding them in my hand as I studied them, I asked my Jane, “Who’s seventieth birthday are we celebrating?”

My mate looked at me and replied, “Yours.”

How did that happen? Why it was just last year I was thirty-six. My Jane wondered how old I felt. After pondering the question my reply was, “I really don’t know.” So, we asked my favorite mother-in-law how old she felt at ninety-two years old.  Following a broken pelvis suffered when she was run over crossing the street three years ago and breaking her hip this past spring she replied, “Fifty”.

Now, I don’t know what I felt like when I was fifty, or thirty-six, so I don’t know how different I feel now that I am turning seventy.

Seventy seems like it should be celebrated in some special way, so I decided to emulate my younger brother  (My brother is to my left in the back row.) and celebrate with a birthday challenge. This is the first year I have accepted a birthday challenge. A birthday challenge in my understanding is something physical outside of the normal activity in your life. At twenty years old I might have done 20 push-ups, at thirty I might have run up stadium steps thirty times, at forty I might have run forty wind sprints around the track, at fifty I might have ridden my bike fifty miles and at sixty I might have paddled the kayak around the lake for sixty minutes. You get the idea. At eighty I might try to stay away for eighty minutes. After some thought I finally settled on swimming for seventy minutes.

 Seventy minutes of uninterrupted swimming was my challenge. I turned on my “60’s playlist, set the timer and began swimming to the sounds of Chicago singing “25 or 6 to 4”. The timer sounded in the middle of The Beach Boys “California Girls” as the challenge was completed.

I do not want to give you the wrong idea about my swimming. In one direction across the pool I do a backstroke  that includes scissors kicks and some form of a figure eight movement with my arms. On the return trip I do a doggie style arm movement again with a scissors kick.  And, I don’t set any land or sea speed records. The sky was blue with wispy clouds and the temperature was working its way toward eighty degrees as I began my swim on January 1 (my birthday is Jan 3). My favorite mother-in-law sat on the deck eating her breakfast and drinking her coffee for part of the event and My Jane came out near the end of the seventy-minutes to drink her coffee. While swimming I sang along with The Beatles, The Animals, Elton John, The Eagles, The Four Tops and many other 60’s favorites.

 I thought about how I should be feeling now that I was turning seventy as I went back and forth in the pool. Getting out of the water at the end of the swim I came to the conclusion that at seventy years of life I guess I feel like me.

See you next time.

A Quest: Spirit of Christmas

Tags

In December we speak and hear words of peace, love, joy and hope. Our words surround the celebration of the birth of Jesus of Nazareth (though he was most probably not born in December). In the Christian world the birth of Jesus is the hope for a new world order rooted in grace and forgiveness.

December (and in recent years November) has become a hectic pushing and shoving exhausting time to spread ‘joy’. I liken our experience to the experience illustrated in the opening scenes of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” with the Who’s franticly shopping through long Christmas present lists and attempting to outdo each other in lighting their houses.

Like Cindy Lou Who I ask if this is what Christmas is all about? The pace of our celebration itself removes any chance to feel the love that Jesus liberally offers each one of us. In our manic drive to create the best Christmas are we allowing Christmas to slip by unnoticed?

I encourage you to stop for five minutes each day until Christmas and allow the gracious love of The Creator to dance in your heart. Allow yourself to feel an unconditional love envelope your soul and assure you that you are accepted by the Eternal Being. Give yourself the gift of five minutes to touch the eternal grace that is freely given to you.

Finally, in your enthusiasm to celebrate the joy of Christmas realize there are many folks walking this journey who are not able to feel much joy at Christmas. Recognize the folks who lost loved ones this year and are experiencing their first Christmas with an empty place where a loved one used to be. Understand that parents who have children in heaven will always feel sorrow during Christmas. I do not share this to dampen your celebrations. I share this to remind you that in this time of giving it is our gift to hurting folks to share their pain with them.

Here are some ideas for you as you share the Spirit of Christmas with hurting folks.

  1. Give them a hug.
  2. Say the name of their loved one.
  3. Allow them to share their feelings freely with no judgement from you.
  4. Attend a Remembrance Service or Blue Christmas Service.

Cherish the Spirit of Christmas by allowing eternal grace to enter your heart and share it with someone else.

Today’s  blog is dedicated to the memory of three teenagers who went to heaven too soon. 

 

Sherry age 13

 

Brothers Dylan and Gavin age 15 and 14.

See you next time.

A Quest: George H. W. Bush in Memoriam

Tags

 

 George H. W. Bush loved his wife and family, his country and its constitution.

Without being an authoritarian bully, he resided over the end of the Cold War and reunification of East and West Germany. He signed the START I treaty reducing nuclear arsenals in the US and Soviet Union and ended nuclear weapons testing in the United States. He warned against ‘suicidal nationalism’ and watched the Soviet Union collapse.

He was a man of good character and honesty. I can best share who he was by retyping the handwritten letter he wrote to his successor Bill Clinton

“Dear Bill

When I walked into this office just now I felt the same sense of wonder and respect that I felt four years ago. I know you will feel that, too. 

I wish you great happiness here. I never felt the loneliness some Presidents have described.

There will be very though times, made even more difficult by criticism you may not think is fair. I’m not a very good one to give advice; but just don’t let the critics discourage you or push you off course.

You will be our President when you read this note. I wish you well, I wish your family well.

Your success now is our country’s success. I am rooting hard for you.

Good luck-

George”

 George H. W. Bush is now at rest with his beloved Barbara.

                        

Rest in peace Mr. President.

See you next time

A Quest: Father Daughter Bonding

Tags

,

According to the Mayo Clinic “Hand-foot-and-mouth disease — a mild, contagious viral infection common in young children — is characterized by sores in the mouth and a rash on the hands and feet. Hand-foot-and-mouth disease is most commonly caused by a coxsackievirus.”

Mayo Clinic goes on to state, “There’s no specific treatment for hand-foot-and-mouth disease. Frequent hand-washing and avoiding close contact with people who are infected with hand-foot-and-mouth disease may help reduce your child’s risk of infection”

I’m not certain what a coxsackie is but if it is those little balls kids kick around with their feet they should be burned!  The little balls not the kids!

The past week has been a very painful experience dealing with ‘Hoof and Mouth’ disease in our family. Daughter Sarah and I caught the contagious viral infection from grandson Joshua.  (The cardboard pirate.) Together we have gone through the rotating states of discomfort, texting our progress back and forth. My memory files are filled with precious shared experiences with our daughter. Often out of the blue one of those memories pops up on the screen of my brain’s computer bringing smiles, joy and laughter. This bonding experience will not be one of those pleasant memories.   When I think of bonding with my daughter this is not how I imagine the experience.

The Mayo Clinic says…mild! We couldn’t walk.   Trying to motivate on foot was like walking barefoot on gravel for me and walking on Legos barefoot for Sarah. I couldn’t pull on socks and shoes.

The Mayo Clinic says…mild! Our hands hurt so much we couldn’t open medicine bottles, or candy wrappers, or milk cartons.   It was painful to hold silverware while eating chicken soup. It was nearly impossible to hold the soup bowl due to the painful sensation to heat. Sitting here on the healing side of this disease my fingers feel like leather on the keyboard.

Lastly, the virus moved into our mouths and throats. Even chicken noodle soup went down with difficulty. I also couldn’t talk without pain. You know how much I like to talk. How rude. We didn’t have much of an appetite. Even a few bites of Key Lime Pie assaulted my sore mouth. You know how much I like to eat. What a revolting development.

The Mayo Clinic reminds us to wash hands often. It hurt to wash hands and face.    Really.

The Mayo Clinic suggests that the disease is common in young children? I guess I should be thrilled being included with a younger age group. But, leave me out the next time, please!

Our friends, Bruce and Narda came to Florida for a family vacation from Pennsylvania. We planned to get together for one evening while they stayed in the land of Mickey Mouse. Our friends made reservations at a resort twelve minutes from our house so getting together was going to be a piece of cake. Someone must have been playing with a coxsackie because the fever hit Sarah and Me the night before our date with the Pennsylvania friends. The fever came with projectile hurling for Sarah and rotated with chills for me. Twice, I was laying on a hot pad covered by three quilts and still couldn’t get warm. Sarah made her first of two visits to the emergency room.

We had to cancel the dinner date. There was a complication in that I didn’t have Bruce’s cell phone number. I called the resort but was unable to contact Narda and Bruce’s room. As a back-up I left a message with the desk. “Do not come for dinner because I am deathly ill.” Was the message. My Jane laughed out loud at my choice of adjective for the disease. Forty-four years of marriage and all I get is some laughter from my lifetime lover. Geez!

Sarah and I looked for cell phone numbers and I sent a note on Facebook to Bruce and Narda’s daughter Rachael to get the word to our friends. Eventually, we made electronic contact and avoided handing the coxsackie off to them. We never were healthy enough to hang out with our friends while they were in Florida.

Eventually I contacted my siblings and informed them I was suffering with ‘Hoof and Mouth’. They were all appreciatively sympathetic without laughing at me.

If you are hanging out with some friends and someone suggests kicking around a cocksackie…pass!

See you next time.

A Quest: What If…? (Part 2)

Tags

What if it is time to divide our country into smaller countries.  How could we even manage that? With great difficulty of course. How would we accommodate folks who end up in a country they don’t want to be living in? How do we determine boundaries? Now do we divide treasury assets like Social Security? How do we divide financial liabilities like the National debt? What happens to the military? How do we divide the stock piles of food and oil equally among the new countries?

 Whew! I’m exhausted   just thinking about it. Really!

What if a downsizing of The United States is what needs to happen? How would a country begin such a process?

First a vote would need to be taken to learn if this was what we wanted to happen as a country. And would an affirmative vote need to be a 60% super majority? Probably so.  If the vote did not receive a 60% affirmative to realign then the question is done, and we are still at this stalemate half and half country. Half and Half in your coffee is a good thing. Half and half in a country is not such a good thing. 

If the vote is to divide the country the action to do so would be set into motion. My guess is that state governments would put together some plans dealing with the national financial assets and liabilities,  the military,   stock piles of food and fuel and take those plans to the federal government. At the federal level the plans would be debated, mixed and matched until two or three final plans were recommended for the people to vote on.  The people would choose one plan. The process would take several years to complete. This process may have to be repeated until a final plan is actually adopted. This is only the part of the process needed to determine the distribution of federal assets and liabilities.

Another plan adopted in a similar manner to the first would determine how many countries the United States would birth.   The difficult part of this plan is that the divisions would be along ideological lines not geographical lines. There might be some real weirdly shaped countries. Some might even have portions not geographically connected to itself. For example; Say Maine wants to throw in with Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa and South Dakota. The other four would be contained within one boundary while Maine would be geographically isolated. That might be a little awkward. However, Hawaii and Alaska have been managing without common borders to other states, so this might be a minor issue. 

I can see some easy divisions. California and Texas could each be a country on their own. Both are larger in population and square miles than any European country. Other neighboring states with similar ideologies might join those two states.

It is easy to imagine North Dakota joining our neighbor to the north becoming Southern Canada. (just kidding-sort of)

Then there is the question of states that are ideologically divided. What happens to them. Well, I imagine there will be several states that break up and join different countries moving forward. This process would last several more years.

Finally, what happens to people who find themselves living in a state that is the polar opposite to their ideological beliefs.   Will a grace period of say, five or ten years be established with some financial support for those who feel the need to move to a state that suits their taste better? Will a swap system be put in place so folks who want to go from ‘Plains American’ to ‘New America’ can swap with folks who want to move the other direction? After all, the idea of this split is for like-minded folks to live together in the same country. This process will also take years to complete.

The process to geographically dividing according to ideology is going to be a very burdensome process. What if instead we learned how to make democracy work in our shared country?

What if we learned that the ability to compromise is a strength in democracy? 

What if we learned that demanding everyone look like me, talk like me, worship like me and think like me is detrimental to democracy?

What if we learned taxes

are necessary to finance democracy?

What if we learned everyone does not have equal skills, opportunities and advantages?

What if we learned some of us need support and some of us have the resources to provide support?

What if we learned that a safe place to live is essential for everyone in the country?

What if we took the tools we have and learned to use them to walk hand-in-hand   caring for each other out of gratitude for the great country in which we live?

What if…? 

Really!

 

See you next time.

A Quest: What If…? (Part 1)

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The midterm election this week highlighted the truth that The United States of America is two countries. On the one hand we are the country trying to ‘whiten’ the wealthy few, nation. On the other hand, we are the country celebrating and employing a rich diversity.

Look at the reality of this election. On the one hand, we have those driven by fear and hate. Proponents from this country would stomp on brown refugees and immigrants, enrich the wealthy white folk, remove healthcare from the poor, subjugate women and minorities, suppress the press, destroy the environment and isolate the country from the rest of the world. Leaders of this world include but are not limited too; Donald Trump,

Steven Miller,                Mitch McConnell,

Lindsey Graham, Mike Pence, Steve Bannon, The Koch brothers, KellyAnn Conway,  Ryan Zinke,

Rush Limbaugh, Tony Perkins and Sean Hannity. 

On the other hand, we have those encouraged by hope and gratitude. Proponents of this country elected a diverse group of women and minorities to public office. The residents of this country desire to redistribute the wealth so no citizen is without healthcare or a minimum income. This group works with the rest of the world to give the environment a chance to continue life-sustaining functions. This nation embraces immigrants as part of the fabric that makes them great. Leaders of this world include but are not limited to; Barak and Michele Obama, Bill and Melinda Gates, Deb Haaland and Sharice Davids (first two Native Americans elected to congress.) Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar (The first Muslim women elected to congress.) Sophie Cruz, Jerry Brown, Diana Butler-Bass, and Al Gore.

We have two distinct countries within our borders and this issue is the most pressing one before us because a house divided cannot stand. What if it is time to finish the process stopped by the Civil War? What if it is time to divide this one nation into several smaller countries? What if it is time to peaceably separate before we are thrown into a bloody conflict for control of the current boundaries?

The process will not be easy, of course, if it is time to divide. But I believe it will be easier to divide than legislate healthcare or immigration reform in our current condition. What if it is time to dissolve the United States of America and birth at least two daughter countries. I would much rather see us dissolve in a somewhat peaceable political process as opposed to a bloody military conflict.

What if the number one priority of our elected officials is to begin the process of dissolution and recreation of the United States of America before the violence festering breaks into burning, killing and carnage.  A country cannot survive when half of the country feels (rightly or wrongly) unheard and oppressed by the other half.

Really! What if…?